Foods Containing Healthy Fats
When it comes to food content, many associate the word ‘fat’ with weight gain and an all-round negative impact on health, but not all fats are bad for you. As well as looking at the amount of fat you consume, you should be paying attention to the type of fat. A number of foods contain good fats, which will help to protect your heart and boost your overall health.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which offer a host of health benefits. They’re known to lower triglycerides – a type of fat in the blood stream – and slow down the growth of plaque in the arteries. They can also reduce inflammation throughout the body and reduce your risk of depression.
Avocados contain good, heart-healthy fats, which help to lower bad cholesterol levels when consumed in moderation. The recommended amount for a single serving is half of a medium avocado, which will contain around 115-160 calories, and there are plenty of ways to incorporate it into your diet. You could us it to make guacamole, add it to a sandwich or use pureed avocado as a substitute for butter or oil in your favourite baked goods recipes.
Many seeds contain good cholesterol-lowering fats. Try snacking on pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, or adding them to your favourite meals.
Most types of nuts are great sources of healthy fats, from hazelnuts to pecans. Walnuts in particular contain a significant dose of these good fats. When snacking on nuts, it can be easy to over-indulge, so keep in mind that good fats should still be eaten in moderation.
Olive oil is high in good fat, and is easy to incorporate into your diet because you can use it as cooking oil. It also makes a great salad dressing and can be used as an ingredient in homemade pesto.
Some types of dark green vegetables contain omega-3s, including spinach, kale and sprouts. These are not the same omega-3s that are found in fish, and they are present in vegetables in much lower quantities. Nevertheless, you should be eating vegetables every day for the number of health benefits they offer, and the healthy fat content of certain types is a bonus.
A typical large egg has less than 5 grams of fat, most of which is healthy fat, including omega-3s. To reap the benefits without overdoing it, it’s best not to eat more than one egg a day.
To maintain a healthy amount of fat in your diet, consume these foods in moderation and avoid bad fats. Saturated fats and trans fats are unhealthy types of fat, which will raise your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. Good fats will do the opposite.